CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Harvard. An Ivy League college that receives more than 40,000 applications each year.
But now, Harvard's admissions policy is raising questions about affirmative action.
University of Minnesota Law Professor Jill Hasday says all eyes will be on the Harvard case examining whether the school is illegally discriminating against Asian-American applicants. A lawsuit claims the school allows more black and Hispanic students in. Harvard denies the claims.
The court could rule broadly and make a new law on the issue, or it could hand down a decision that only impacts Harvard.
Hasday says the case will shed light on the admissions process.
“People are also interested because it is a peek behind the scenes and how admissions work in an elite university,” she said.
Meanwhile, Harvard does say it considers race in admissions to promote diversity, which is an argument the court endorses.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.
Some believe this case could make its way up to the Supreme Court. But will the justices overturn a ruling from the '70s allowing affirmative action?
“Will it change? That is one reason people are focused on it,” Hardsay said. “For the court to strike down what Harvard is doing, it is possible, but they would be basically changing their precedence. Harvard's system was the is the model the Supreme Court used to determine, when is affirmative action Constitutional?"